German cinema

This week we’ve been thinking about German cinema, in advance of our first ‘deckchair cinema’ screening of Goodbye Lenin! next Sunday (20th October) at the Coach House Gallery, Alfriston. Full details of the event follow at the end of this post. We are anticipating a busy evening, so be sure to purchase your ticket soon!

We’ve been batting around our favourite German films here at Filmspot HQ, and have come up with a few suggestions for those of you who fancy having a warm-up for our German-themed evening. Here’s five of our favourites:

1. Nosferatu (1922)

Germany was pivotal in the early development of cinema – and many of the silent ‘classics’ are from here – The Cabinet of Dr Caligari, Dr Mabuse – The Gambler, Pandora’s Box – just to name a few. We could have picked any of those, as they are all wonderful early films, however, F.W. Murnau‘s version of Stoker’s ‘Dracula’ story (with names altered for copyright reasons) is so iconic and bizarre that we had to include it. Max Schrek’s otherworldly depiction of the ghastly Count Orlok is particularly remarkable and haunting, as are the eerie early special effects, using stop motion animation. Werner Herzog‘s 1979 remake is also worthy of mention (a rare thing for a re-make) however, he is highlighted below for another of his wonderful films. Both the 1922 and 1979 films are included in the BFI Southbank’s current ‘Gothic’ season – screening later this month – so this Halloween is a fantastic time to revisit this masterpiece of gothic cinema.

2. Metropolis (1927)

Another German Expressionist masterpiece very well worth revisiting. Re-released by the BFI in 2010 in the closet cut to that which was presented at the 1927 premiere, Metropolis is regarded as the first feature-length sci-fi film. Set in a dystopian future, director Fritz Lang uses the film to explore class in modern society. Visually, the film is stunning and used pioneering special effects. Lang himself said that ‘The film was born from my first view of skyscrapers in New York in October 1924’.

3. Wings of Desire (1987)

Set in West Germany, Wim Wender’s film is about German trench-coated, invisable angels, who listen to the thoughts of Berlin’s human inhabitants and try to comfort those in need. One angel, Daniel, wishes to become human after falling in love with Marion, a beautiful trapeze artist. Ravishingly shot in black and white, this heartbreakingly romantic fantasy is totally captivating.

4. Fitzcarraldo (1982)

Werner Herzog is certainly one of the most intriguing and colourful figures in contemporary cinema – and his hugely prolific output is a testament to both his genius and eccentricity. Based on the life of  real-life Peruvian rubber baron, Carlos Fitzcarrald, the production famously involved moving a 320ton steamship over a hill, without the use of special effects. Klaus Kinski, who took the title role, also caused enormous tension on set, meaning that the existence of this film at all is an achievement in itself!

5. Run Lola Run (1988)

Tom Tykwer’s film about a woman (Lola) who has 20 minutes to get 100,000 marks to her boyfriend, a small-time crook, before he is boss, Ronnie, will arrive and kill him. The film plays out three different scenarios, each effecting the characters Lola encounters on each of her runs in different ways. Very much influenced by Polish Director, Krzysztof Kieślowski, Tykwer directed Kieślowski’s planned film Heaven (another Filmspot favourite) after his death. Exhilarating and gutsy, this is unpretentious, passionate filmmaking at its best.

Now, back to news of our Goodbye Lenin! screening next Sunday 20 October! Here are the details:

6.00pm (for 6.30pm start)
present a DECKCHAIR CINEMA screening of
In original German, with English subtitles
TICKETS MUST BE BOOKED IN ADVANCE: £7 each, including a drink and German canapes.  To book, please email with your name and number or call 01323 871402
We can’t wait, and hope to see you all there!


A great weekend in Salisbury – and launching a new community cinema in Alfriston

Phew – We’re just back from a fantastic time in Salisbury, where we ran a screening of ‘The Great White Silence‘ at Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum on Saturday. More on that below, but first of all, we want to let you all know about our next event. We are very excited to be working with The Coach House Gallery in Alfriston to launch Deckchair Cinema – a new venture bringing art house and world cinema to Alfriston.

Our inaugural Deckchair Cinema event will be on Saturday 20 October, 6pm (for a 6.30pm start). We are presenting GOODBYE LENIN [2003], in association with and supporting the Seaford Twinning Association and the German Conversation Group. We will be showing the film in original German, with English subtitles.

This heart-warming tragicomedy, set in 1989, tells the story of a son who lovingly dupes his socialist mother, recently awoken from a coma, into believing that  Lenin really did win after all!
 Location: The Coach House, High St. Alfriston BN26 5TD. Parking: Willows Car Park: Free from 6pm
Here’s a clip, to whet your appetite!
TICKETS: £7 each, levied against licensing and including, a seat, a drink and German canapes – non language speakers also welcomed. Advance booking is recommended – please email with your name and number or call 01323 871402
Back to Salisbury!

We had a great time in this picturesque city, and received some great feedback from the audience, including:
‘Very moving, thank you’
‘Excellent – loved the soundtrack’
‘Superb. My eight year old son and 76 year old father were equally entranced’

Thank you to all of you who came along – and also to those of you who noted down some suggestions for future screenings.

Here are some photos:

The beautiful venue: the Lecture Theatre (to the left of the photograph) at Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum

The beautiful venue: the Lecture Theatre (to the left of the photograph) at Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum

The audience arriving

The audience arriving

Here's Mr Filmspot's projectionist's eye view of the audience during the event, from the balcony!

Here’s Mr Filmspot’s projectionist’s eye view of the audience during the event, from the balcony!

We are looking forward to being back in Wiltshire again soon!